Wait, that's not fair. I have to apologize twice or three times a week minimum.
There'd better be a Hall of Fame for Brian McBride to get inducted into, as all I'm saying.
Had a little talk with my old pal Liz Kubler-Ross about the whole Bob Bradley rehiring thing. And I like Bob Bradley, so I actually think I'm dealing with this a lot better than some of you are.
And now that it's Smilin' Bob again for the foreseeable future, we pretty much have no alternative but to accept it. That doesn't mean we can't spend some quality time with bargaining, denial and anger.
However, that's all we can do at this point. Very few of us have US Soccer Federation votes - I know I don't - but even if we did, we'd have to wait four years before using it to replace Sunil Gulati. I don't know how one would go about impeaching him (I have a sneaking suspicion "impeach" is a more accurate term than "fire"), and even if a recall campaign were mounted - do you want to risk the World Cup bids over this? Really? Didn't think so.
And hey, at least Sunil managed to provide closure on something that...didn't need to be decided any time soon.
What was the rush, anyway? Bradley's contract ended in December, and there's nothing the Nats are doing that's very important before then. Just like Bradley with Aston Villa, I think it's pretty clear Gulati was flirting, if not outright cheating:
Yeah, um, the correct answer to that is "no." Unless, of course, it isn't true...but if it isn't true, then Gulati should have pulled the trigger on him.
Or, Sunil could have let Bradley dangle until December while conducting an actual search. Not the nicest course of action, once you decide to fire someone, "nice" sort of flies out the window. Why didn't Gulati take the time and find the right person?
Well, to hear Sunil tell it now, Bradley apparently had credentials no one else could match:
That's also less experience Bruce Arena had four years ago, and Gulati (rightly) spitcanned him. So what the hell are the criteria to be the US coach, anyway?
I'll bet Sigi Schmid is fairly unhappy that he chose this year to have his team get off to a horrible start. In fact, this year is probably his most disappointing since...hm, the 2006 Columbus Crew. Wow, Schmid does NOT do well in World Cup audition years.
(Yes, he did very well in 2002, but we weren't going to fire Bruce Arena then, were we? I forget how UCLA did in 1998.)
Then there's Dominic Kinnear, who whiled away the Bradley era with a bunch of titles...and sure enough, the Dynamo turned into pudding this year.
But if "international experience" trumps knowledge of the talent pool, then I gave these coaches more consideration in two tiny paragraphs than Sunil Gulati did. There are other positions to take besides "Klinsmann or Bust!" (the Internet) and "Klinsmann or Default!" (Sunil Gulati), you know. I can understand the Internet being quick to come to a conclusion, and slow to change its mind...but I expect more from someone with Gulati's reputation. He damned well better land the World Cup now.
So what can we do now? If you want Bradley replaced, cheer against the US. That's...well, that's something worthy of George Doucheington Carver, inventor of douche butter.
Eventually we will go back to supporting Bob Bradley...at least, if the alternative is losing to freaking Guatemala or something. But I hope acceptance doesn't come at the price that Ives Galarcep paid in his Fox Soccer analysis. He too fell into the Bradley/Klinsmann dichotomy, while accusing everyone else of doing the same.
If Bob Bradley deserves credit for the US winning Group C, it's because he had the bright idea of starting Robert Green in goal. And if we're going to give Bradley credit for Switzerland's wins (the hell?!), then we should at least give him some blame for the strategy that gave cheap leads to England, Slovenia and Ghana, and kept us from scoring against Algeria until literally the last second. Why fire Arena for losing against a Ghana team that was much beter than the one Bradley lost to?
(Because Arena played a 4-5-1 against the Czech Republic, and didn't prepare a decent strategy against Ghana, either.)
(Besides, if Arena was campaigning for the US job again, well, a look at the Galaxy's train wreck in August would have brought that speculation to a halt.)
So...yeah, stage four - depression. Where are you guys?